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Old 03-14-2007, 10:33 PM   #1
Lillymon
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Default Sound and video problems

I mentioned some problems I've been having with this PC in my last post and said I might make a topic about them here. Well, I just got an urge to play some games in MAME and it's spurred me to make that topic. Here's a summary of my problems (quoted verbatim from an Ubuntu Forums topic I made):

---

I've recently gotten a new PC, with integrated graphics and sound. Despite being cheap, it's better than my old PC, however Kubuntu seems to be having difficulty getting everything out of it.

The motherboard is an "ASRock K8NF6G-VSTA" with "Integrated NVIDIA GeForce6-class graphics DX9.0 VGA" for the graphics and "Realtek ALC861VD/ALC883 7.1 channel audio CODEC with High Definition audio" for the sound.

The first problem was with my refresh rate (Kubuntu wouldn't let me set it higher than 60Hz in any resolution, despite my monitor supporting much higher) but I fixed that by editing xorg.conf and forcing it to let me user higher refresh rates.

The second problem is that I can't seem to get hardware acceleration. I tried installing the NVIDIA drivers (like I successfully did with the GeForce4 MX in my old PC) but that just killed X.org, forcing me to restore xorg.conf to get the GUI back.

Finally, Kubuntu completely fails to detect my sound hardware. KMix says "Mixer cannot be found" and alsamixer says "alsamixer: function snd_ctl_open failed for default: No such device". It's like there's nothing there. A desktop CD of the same version of Kubuntu I'm using now (Edgy Eft) does exactly the same.

Additionally, Add/Remove Programs won't let me install MPlayer Movie Player or Xine extra plugins. They're also not listed in Adept. I was able to do that with the same version of Kubuntu on my old PC, so I'm assuming this has something to do with one of the problems listed above. I'd like to install both if at all possible, as I typically make fairly heavy use of them.

I'm sure this PC can be productive and enjoyable, but it's difficult without it detecting my hardware properly.

---

Since my last PC also lost sound after upgrading to Edgy Eft, it's been THREE FUCKING MONTHS since either PC has made anything more than fan noise. Additionally, the loss of accelerated video leaves me with some artefacts on-screen and very limited video playing abilities.

I'm gradually going nuts over this, and I've got no substantial help in solving either problem (the most promising solution to my sound problem was "Get a different sound card"). There must be some solution to this, but I feel completely helpless not even being able to fully diagnose a problem.
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sound and video problems

Hmmm, this sounds like it could be a couple of things.

First, disconnect both, reboot the machine. Power down and put one of them in, boot up. Repeat process with other card.

If one of them works without the other, then it's possible that they are interferring with each other. Unlikely, but it can happen.

Next alternative, try to put the cards in other slots if you have any extra slots. You could have a slot going bad on you, and that will cause some pretty annoying problems.

The final alternative, try other hardware altogether. A last ditch effort though.

All I can think of.
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sound and video problems



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Old 03-15-2007, 09:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Sound and video problems

> If one of them works without the other, then it's possible
> that they are interferring with each other. Unlikely, but it
> can happen.

I think he means an IRQ error or like when have a 56k modem and it must be put in the 3rd or 4th pci slot or it won't work. He could be right on this one.

It also may just be bad/crappy drivers for your hardware.
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:22 PM   #5
Lillymon
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Default Re: Sound and video problems

> Hmmm, this sounds like it could be a couple of things.
>
> First, disconnect both, reboot the machine. Power down and
> put one of them in, boot up. Repeat process with other card.

You can stop there, I can't remove either, both the video and sound and integrated with the motherboard. It's an all-in-one solution, so I don't think it's possible to get a conflict.

I could try different hardware, but I get the distinct impression that the problem here is that Kubuntu isn't able to detect the hardware correctly (given how new it all is) rather than anything actually being wrong with the hardware.

It should also be noted that this PC was briefly used as a rental PC (presumably with Windows on it) and I got no word of problems with it from the previous user, making me think even more that the problem lies in software.
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Old 03-15-2007, 06:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sound and video problems

<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

You can stop there, I can't remove either, both the video and sound and integrated with the motherboard.

<hr></blockquote>
Well crap. I missed that part. <img src=http://www.zophar.net/wwwthreads/smilies/cry.gif>

If it's within your power to do so, try setting up a dualboot with a windows OS and try that hardware's latest drivers on there.
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Old 03-15-2007, 07:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sound and video problems

It seems bizarre that people keep trying to act like it's a possible hardware problem. It's not. (Hence the LOLWUT macro earlier.) What you've run into is why critics say that Linux isn't ready for the mainstream desktop yet: there simply aren't drivers readily available for everything.

The good news is that the GeForce 6150, which is what I think you have on that board does work ok. It's just that when the installer for the binary drivers modifies your Xconfig, it messes some stuff up. What you need to do is back up the file, install the drivers, swap the backed up config back in and manually switch the nv driver. There's a huge thread on LinuxQuestions about the 6150 you should check out.

As far as the audio goes, I've never had any experience with the new 7.1 chipsets, but try Googling the model number. You probably need a driver that's not included with Kubuntu, if it even exists at all.
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:17 PM   #8
Lillymon
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Default Re: Sound and video problems

> What you've run into is why critics say that Linux isn't
> ready for the mainstream desktop yet: there simply aren't
> drivers readily available for everything.

Ideally, I should've gone to the Ubuntu Forums, asked around what the best cheap but still half-decent hardware is, then got that. However, my last PC was totally out of commission and I needed a new PC. Hence, I took some guesses, and are paying for it now.

I'm planning to get another new PC in the near future though, and I'll be planning that one better.

> What you need to do is back up the file, install the drivers,
> swap the backed up config back in and manually switch the
> nv driver. There's a huge thread on LinuxQuestions about
> the 6150 you should check out.

Well this finally sounds helpful, but the LinuxQuestions search seems fairly useless, and I'm having trouble finding such a thread.

> As far as the audio goes, I've never had any experience with
> the new 7.1 chipsets, but try Googling the model number.
> You probably need a driver that's not included with Kubuntu,
> if it even exists at all.

To be honest, this bit is my primary concern (it also seems to be the concern least likely to be addressed). I'm fairly desperate to get sound back at this point.

Also, rather humorously, do you know what the #7 result from Google for "Realtek ALC861VD/ALC883" is? My last thread at the Ubuntu Forums (the exact same one I quoted the information in this topic from)! This feels a bit hopeless...

Edit: #11 on Google is one of mine too.
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Old 03-15-2007, 11:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sound and video problems

> It seems bizarre that people keep trying to act like it's a
> possible hardware problem. It's not. (Hence the LOLWUT
> macro earlier.)

I did mention I thought it might be a driver problem. <img src=smilies/magbiggrin.gif>
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